After more than a month in the hospital, Timmy Brodigan met the first responders who treated him after the Amtrak derailment.
“I’m feeling thankful,” Brodigan said as he waited for them to arrive. “I get to meet the people who saved my life.”
On Dec. 18th, the 16-year-old was on Amtrak 501 on his way to see cousins in Oregon when the train derailed near DuPont, Wash. He woke up in the hospital with a broken neck, fractured ribs, a bruised lung and several other injuries.
Brodigan spent weeks in the ICU, but he’s taken big steps forward since. He is still mostly paralyzed, but he has regained some movement in his arms, particularly the right. And his spirits are high.
Tuesday marked another big moment for Brodigan, when three members of the Tumwater Fire Department came to visit him at Seattle Children’s Hospital. They brought him a Tumwater Fire hat and shirt, plus a trophy to show he’s now a part of their family.
“We want you to come by and visit the fire station when you get back,” Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle told the 16-year-old.
Shawn Crimmins and Jim Floyd were the paramedics who rushed Brodigan to the emergency room from the derailment scene. They had to intubate him in the ambulance. They say Brodigan was barely conscious, and it was unclear whether or not he would survive.
“We didn’t know at the time,” Crimmins said.
"Yeah, we didn’t have an idea at that point,” Floyd echoed.
But Brodigan fought back, and at Seattle Children’s Hospital Tuesday they shared a hopeful reunion as Brodigan continues his long recovery.
“It’s inspiring,” Chief La Vielle said. “His family has hope. We have hope. And we’re glad to be a part of it.”
Later this week, Brodigan will be airlifted to Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in spinal cord injuries.
A Gofundme for Brodigan has raised more than $64,000 to help with medical expenses.
Affiliate KOMO-TV contributed to this story.